i only wear white when it rains

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not my dream

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Disney Dreamer Rockin' Out at the Welcome Party

Not only is our Christmas elf Jingles a bit of a drunk who often forgets to hide after a night of revelry, but this year he decided to hijack our Spring break plans by scheduling a Bahamian cruise aboard the Disney Dream.

One would think December gave us adequate time to reserve a concierge suite or beach cabanas for a trip taking place in March, but apparently Disney cruisers know to book those before the ship is even designed. These are the same assholes who make getting dinner reservations at Cinderella’s Castle only possible long after your daughter stops giving a shit about Disney princesses.

who’s going down with us

As our sail date approached, I ran into an acquaintance at Shorebucks who mentioned he and his family also were going on the Disney Dream over break.

I couldn’t contain my excitement. We would know somebody else with whom to commiserate over the repugnancy of the all-you-can-eat turkey leg buffet! (I may have made that up, but it was Disney after all. I knew churros and turkey legs would have to make an appearance at some point.)

“Yeah,” he said. “We’re really excited about it.”

He wasn’t kidding.

I was deflated.

It’s worth noting that the only appropriate response to, “I’m going on the Disney cruise” is: “I’m sorry.”

welcome (to olfactory hell) party

If your elf ever screws you over and you too find yourself aboard the Disney Dream, avoid the “Welcome Party” on the pool deck at all costs. This is merely a ruse to get you to either jump overboard or accept a fruity frozen drink you don’t want, thinking it’s complimentary, but later realizing you were charged $11 for it.

If you can imagine 4,000 people crowded into an area roughly the size of a waffle, then you can appreciate how badly my allergies were flaring up during this event.

For the record, my allergies include, but are not limited to:

  1. Sweaty people who “arm rape” me in a crowd.
  2. Cheap hotel rooms.
  3. Dirty feet; sticky hands.
  4. The existence of body hair on anyone over 150 pounds.
  5. An assortment of olfactory assaults too numerous to list…greasy scalp, earwax (yes – I can smell that), any spice (curry) or food (garlic, hotdog) odor emanating not from food, Eternity for men, and anything that smells like scented maxi pads.

it’s the tallest midget

As far as cruise ships go, the Disney Dream probably ranks higher on the list of acceptability. It’s newish and cleanish, and to my delight, every time you enter a dining room, a foreigner is paid 14 cents a day to hand you an antibacterial wipe.

But if like me, you think cruise ships are nothing more than a floating Petri dish of unnamed viruses that will stump your board certified dermatologist into thinking the origin of your skin rash is: “a reaction to drinking too many rum drinks,” then you should steer clear. And for the record, I was 23, and Malibu and pineapple juice were cool at the time.

that’s totally a shit stain

Not being an experienced Disney fan(atic) who looks at a topiary shaped like Donald Duck as the 8th Wonder of the World, the best room I could reserve on short (three months!) notice was a deluxe family stateroom with outside verandah that sleeps five.

Let me clarify that “five” must actually mean “five fetuses.” Because I’m pretty sure at one point my daughter was deciding which parent she liked the least so that she could accidentally on purpose throw one of us overboard to have more space to wave her $16 sword we were waterboarded into buying for the ship’s pirate party.

The cabin featured a split bath which made any imminent asstastrophes (it is a cruise ship after all) possible in privacy while I took my third shower of the day, ignoring pleas to conserve water or obey the 2-towel daily allotment. Trust me, from the smell of it, many of those cruise-goers were conserving water, so don’t blame me for ruining the environment.

Besides having the obvious benefits of a private pool deck where you might actually get a chair (not possible otherwise), concierge level rooms also have another huge advantage: shower gel.

I assumed our room steward forgot to supply us with shower gel only to discover that “luxury” was reserved for concierge rooms only.

“Let me get this straight,” I immediately turned the color of the $11 daiquiri we just threw out, “for $5,000, I am to give my child a bath for four days with a single bar of soap the size of a sugar cube?”


Good thing I always bring my own shampoo and conditioner because I had to use Disney’s to shave my legs the rest of the trip.

Shortly after my frustration over the lack of shower gel and annoyance at the impending mandatory muster drill, I spotted a brown smudge on our upholstered sofa bed designed to sleep one of the fetuses. I should mention that we did not have a fetus on board since this was a “vacation,” and anyone who knows me knows that my menstrual cycles are tied directly to my vacation schedules.

“That’s a poop stain,” I announced before dry heaving and covering it with magazines.

Brian looked at me with the exhaustion of someone who has been traveling with me for 15 years.

“It looks like chocolate pudding,” he replied nonchalantly, moving the magazines aside.

“How can you SPILL chocolate pudding in the shape of a diamond?” I demanded, adding additional magazines to the fecal barrier which I diligently saw would remain intact for the rest of the trip.

Luckily the muster drill occurred in the middle of this heated debate, so we could then switch our focus to which assholes would be elbowing us on the way to the lifeboats should our boat Costa Concordia itself right into a reef.

communist dinner

Server Gustavo does not speak Russian and therefore cannot explain to Buela why she may not have four appetizers.

Not reserving our cruise the minute I conceived created yet another last-one-to-the-party challenge: an unchangeable-because-the-boat-was-fully-booked 8:30 pm dinner seating.

My daughter is seven. She’s asleep at 8:30 pm, and that is when we are slated by these Nazis to eat dinner every night? It made me want to scream, “Where the FUCK is my shower gel?!” before punching our waiter Gustavo in his coiffed up pompadour.

In yet another blow, we were seated with a family of three that spoke little English. This ended up being a blessing though because it would have been awkward to strike up a conversation with parents who I’m certain ate their other four children during the Cold War.

Boris and his wife Buela (I have no idea what the fuck their names were, I was too pissed that I had to sit through a 4-hour meal across from them) looked equally disgusted, as our two children fell asleep face first in their macaroni and cheese each night after 63 rounds of tic tac toe.

profiting on a parent’s need for alcohol & caffeine

The Disney Dream features 11 nightclubs and two cafes where the requisite lattes are $5 a piece (your $5k actually buys you a “somewhat-inclusive” cruise).

Although I appreciate how and why most parents need alcohol to cope with the fact that their vacation is taking place aboard the Disney Dream, I cannot understand why you’d bother to take your children to anything Disney only to drop them off at the Oceaneers Lab (the babysitting area that’s name so obviously refers to the bacteria cultures left behind) while you practice your running man on the dance floor of a pink lounge shaped like a champagne bottle.

Don’t get me wrong. We used the babysitting service a fair amount. Like when our daughter expressed some concern over the fervor with which Boris tore through a chilled lobster tail. I somewhat guiltily checked her in to the Lab, a process similar to an Act of Congress, trying to ignore the fact that the little girl right behind her was wearing her wrist GPS unit on her ankle, most likely to match her father’s. I wish I had a photo of him (but want to live), since my description of his ZZ Top-like beard complete with two braids just wouldn’t do him or his Led Zeppelin concert T-shirt justice.

cocktail dresses on disney cruises have me longing for neverland

But for the most part, this vacation was not for us…it was for a sweet, seven-year-old girl who love(d) Disney and being with her parents (for now).

There just seemed something tragic and sad about me sporting a cocktail dress from Dress Barn and ordering a frozen drink I would later spill during the Cha Cha Slide in a Disney “dance club” while my daughter attempted to avoid the Norwalk virus from a Toy Story-themed play area by herself.

In fact, I’m pretty proud to say that I didn’t bother to brush my hair the entire trip and have the pictures to prove it. The optional “Formal” night had me acting like a rebellious teenager, donning Hollister sweatpants, Havaianas and a chipped pedicure. I watched as grown men in suits clumsily shifted their weight from side to side in the Atrium during the character dance party, wondering the whole time what I was doing there.

And then it hit me.

The genius of Disney isn’t in the mandatory gift shop walk-thru at the end of every ride or the $12 M&Ms they sell outside the movie theater on this boat.

It’s in the constant reminder of Peter Pan’s most important lesson: “Once you grow up…you can never go back!”

So I hope that my daughter left that ship wanting to cling to her childhood just a little bit longer.

After all, arguing about poop and pudding and all the responsibilities of adulthood can wait.

For now, she can just use the shampoo and pretend that it’s shower gel.

Look at those douchebags. Being an adult must really suck.

Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

March 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm

One Response

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  1. I laughed threw this whole thing.. You are the funniest person I have ever met!
    Sorry the cruise sucked….

    Heather Kuhn

    March 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm

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